David Letterman took a break from comedy on the Monday night episode of The Late Show to respond to last week’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Taking a serious and heartfelt tone, Letterman spent nearly seven minutes talking about kids, school, guns, and the holidays. “I’m like most people, especially here in the northeast, who spent all weekend thinking about the shooting in Connecticut.”
“It makes me so sad. … Do you think about the kids in the class? That’s too awful to think about. Do you think about the parents and their friends and getting that message from the school and finding out that their lives are irrevocably broken, ruined?
“You think about your own kid. I take him to school every now and then. Are we supposed to be worried about dropping our kids off at school now? I never worried about it before. I always thought, well here, school is a good place where my son will be free of the idiot decisions made by his father.”
The line brought a chuckle from the audience, but Letterman continued in all seriousness:
“Believe me, I’m not dumb enough to think that this is a problem of guns. Before there were guns, people were killing one another. And so you can’t just say that it’s guns. And you can’t just say that it’s mental health or emotional problems because people with all manner of problems don’t necessarily kill each other.
“Fifty percent of the households in this country have guns. So we’re never going to say you can’t have guns.
“Since 1994, there have been 70 episodes of school shootings in the United States, after the Brady Bill had passed (in 1993). … Good lord, really? Should there be that many? Does that surprise you? The problem here is so multifaceted.
“Having my own son and having the same feelings every parent has.”
Letterman admitted that listening to President Obama speak at the Newtown interfaith ceremony Sunday night helped him “feel a little bit better about the situation.”
Still, “It’s a sad, sad holiday season,” he closed.
You can watch the clip of Letterman’s response to Sandy Hook below. The quality isn’t great, but you’ll get the idea.